The South Korean custom of selling and consuming dog meat has been widely scrutinized and protested in recent months. Many dogs have been rescued from the country and are finding homes with loving owners around the world. One dog, a golden retriever mix, was left in a trash bag behind a meat market in South Korea, and rescuers weren’t sure she’d ever find a forever home.
The dog, Chi Chi, was found with all four of her legs bound with wire, and her body had been placed inside a garbage bag. Her bones and tendons were clearly visible. The dog was likely going to be slaughtered for food, but an animal rescue group in South Korea found her among the trash outside the meat market and believed they could help her.
Rescuers rushed the dog to a veterinary clinic where it was determined that she could survive, but all of her legs would need to be amputated. Of course, this would make finding a forever home for Chi Chi very difficult. Her legs were taken, but she was fitted with four prosthetic paws when she had fully recovered from the surgeries.
Dogs are considered a traditional delicacy in Korea. Recently, they’ve begun becoming popular as pets and citizens of the country (as well as activists around the world) are loudly speaking up about their negative views on the dog meat trade. Hundreds of dogs were rescued from the country last year and the efforts have continued to grow.
After spending more than two months in a veterinary clinic in Seoul, Chi Chi was sent to the United States and taken in by Animal Rescue, Media & Education (ARME), a Los Angeles-based organization. Her name means “loving” in Korean. Now, she lives in Phoenix, Arizona with Richard and Elizabeth Howell and their 12-year-old daughter.
The family says that Chi Chi can run, walk, play and do pretty much everything that any other dog can do. The only thing she struggles with is going up stairs. As you can see, her legs are now very short, which makes climbing stairs impossible – even for the most motivated pup.
ARME showcased Chi Chi’s recovery on their social media sites, and that’s how the Howell’s learned about her. At first, they were just going to give money to support the efforts to rescue her, but they quickly realized that the biggest need Chi Chi had was for a family to love her. Mr. Howell explained that as they followed Chi Chi’s story they begin to feel a connection with the dog.
They knew she was special. They knew that her strength and the determination of the rescue workers that were helping her could eventually make a huge impact on the world. Chi Chi’s story may impact more people to help with the efforts in Korea.
Chi Chi was just adopted earlier this month, and the Howell’s admit that they are trying to figure out all the things that she’ll need. Having a dog with special needs is not easy, but it’s completely worth it. Everyone in the family needs to work together to care for a special needs dog. It’s not just bringing a dog into your family – it is a lifestyle change for everyone in your household.
Depending on the dog’s needs you may need to make changes to your daily routine, to your home or to the rest of your environment. Special needs dogs will likely also be more expensive to care for than other dogs. Adopting a dog with special needs is something that you’ll need to put a lot of thought into. You’ll need to make sure your entire family is on board, and you should also chat with your veterinarian to make sure they can provide the kind of care that your new family member will need.